×

Non-fiction

Charles Dickens photographed in New York on 15th February 1868, on his second visit to America.

‘A banishment’ – Gloria Deak describes the visits of celebrated Victorians to America

17 September 2013 13:17

No, they decidedly did not like us — this is true at least for the majority of the nineteenth-century British travelers to the New World. They came out of a… Continue reading

0 Comments
summer-books

My holiday from reading books is to read them as Caxton intended

29 August 2013 10:30

On hearing that Easy Jet had changed its hand luggage allowance, two questions struck me. First, was the airline in league with the luggage makers’ guild? Second, which paperbacks would… Continue reading

1 Comment
9780199739318_450

What might link Cleopatra, Augustus, Constantine, Barbarossa, Tamerlane and the Farnese?

22 August 2013 10:30

The stone called sardonyx looks a lot more fragile than it actually is. It’s luminous like glass, but hard like steel, which explains why so much of it has survived… Continue reading

1 Comment
A group of Indian school children rides a cycle van to reach school near Kolkata. A reminder of how far India has yet to travel. (DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images)

Amartya Sen interview: India must fulfil Tagore’s vision, not Gandhi’s

20 August 2013 11:19

Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. Sen’s previous books include: Development as Freedom; Rationality and Freedom; The Argumentative Indian;… Continue reading

2 Comments
Mourners file past the coffin of Winston Churchill on 30th January 1965. His body lay in state for 3 days.

Winston Churchill was a very human leader, says Churchill and Empire author Lawrence James

13 August 2013 11:18

More books have been written about Winston Churchill than perhaps any other figure in British history. Do we really need another volume added to the existing library? In Churchill and… Continue reading

2 Comments
Alex Salmond's nationalists are afraid of people who think for themselves.

Independence would not change single ideology Scotland

12 August 2013 16:12

There is probably no other country in the democratic West where the state oversees economic activity and regulates private life as thoroughly as in Scotland. So it has come as… Continue reading

39 Comments
A poster for the American mind-reader Alexander, 1915 (reputedly printed by ‘Av Yaga’, Bombay)

Some brilliant book reviews

2 August 2013 17:32

As ever, there are some absolutely scintillating book reviews in this week’s issue of the magazine. Here is a selection: Sam Leith revels in ‘a blindly good story extremely well… Continue reading

0 Comments
One of Finn Dean’s winning illustrations for the Folio Society’s Brave New World

Some brilliant book reviews

26 July 2013 15:06

As ever, the Spectator carries some splendid and erudite book reviews this week. There are contributions from stellar writers and thinkers such as Margaret MacMillan, Susan Hill, Alexander Chancellor and… Continue reading

0 Comments
Andrew Flintoff of England consoles Brett Lee of Australia after England defeated Australia on day four of the Second npower Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Edgbaston on August 7, 2005 in Birmingham, England.   (Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Why do words and cricket go together?

4 July 2013 9:30

‘Words and cricket,’ wrote Beryl Bainbridge, ‘seem to go together.’ Why should this be? The Ashes series starting next week might not be the most eagerly anticipated of recent times,… Continue reading

3 Comments
NASH-PAUL-EVENT-ON-THE-DOWNS

The week in books

24 June 2013 14:25

This week’s issue of the Spectator is packed with book reviews. Here’s a selection of quotes to whet your appetite. Old China hand Jonathan Mirsky finds much to applaud in… Continue reading

0 Comments
Twin girls hold twin babies at the second annual twins festival in Beijing. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

The odd couples

21 June 2013 10:52

This is the first post in an occasional series about rediscovering old science books. Twins, Lawrence Wright posits, pose a threat to the established order. People have long been scared… Continue reading

2 Comments
849193

The Astronaut Wives Club

20 June 2013 10:25

There I was, slowly and not ungrumpily coming to terms with the fact that there weren’t going to be any more decent books about the Apollo missions. Only 12 men… Continue reading

1 Comment
Amy Winehouse performing at Glastonbury in 2007. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Amy Winehouse and the 27 Club, by Howard Sounes – review

12 June 2013 9:30

As an early dedicated fan of the Doors, who ran away from boarding school just so that I could catch my idols playing the massive Isle of Wight festival (a gathering… Continue reading

1 Comment
photo (5)

Anon’s Baby Song; a lullaby for your baby tonight

11 June 2013 9:00

Writing, as I have done, about the Bodleian’s holdings of Jane Austen or Byron is all very well, but our most prolific author is Anon. He (or she) leaves his… Continue reading

2 Comments
he Cleansing of Naaman by Elisha. Woodcut from the Biblia Sacra Germanaica

Professor Steve Jones: Why I think religion is a bad thing

10 June 2013 8:45

Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London. Some of his previous books include: The Language of Genes, Y: The Descent of Men, The Single Helix, and… Continue reading

59 Comments
Boris Johnson wants the government to take a tough line with trade unions. Picture: Getty

Boris Johnson to write book about Sir Winston Churchill

4 June 2013 15:36

Boris is to write a book about Winston Churchill. As Boris puts it in a cantering press release: ‘The point of the ‘‘Churchill Factor’’ is that one man can make all the… Continue reading

20 Comments
Abu Qatada smiles as he evades deportation once again in April 2012. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/GettyImages)

Countering Terrorism in Britain and France, by Frank Foley – review

4 June 2013 9:18

Have you ever wondered why we’re stuck with the radical cleric Abu Qatada? It’s a question the last four Home Secretaries will have asked as they battled, and failed, to… Continue reading

16 Comments
pins2

Jane Austen’s pinny

28 May 2013 9:30

This is the third entry in an occasional series by Christopher Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections at the Bodleian Library. You can read the other instalments here. It’s almost two… Continue reading

2 Comments
Tory backbencher Jesse Norman. Picture: PA

Jesse Norman interview: Edmund Burke, our chief of men

24 May 2013 9:00

When he arrived in London, Burke had a very brief career in law. He soon dedicated his time to critical thinking, writing and politics. Burke published a number of ground… Continue reading

6 Comments
Burke

Edmund Burke – a writer one should always read

20 May 2013 11:40

I thought readers might be interested in this piece in the current print edition of the magazine. It is my review of a very interesting new book on Edmund Burke,… Continue reading

7 Comments
The crowned heads of Europe attend the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. It is extraordinary that so many royal families survived the 20th century. (OFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Dreams and Nightmares: Europe in the twentieth century

10 May 2013 17:11

So much abuse has been heaped on the European Union in recent years that it is easy to forget that Europe and the EU are not the same thing. Geert… Continue reading

12 Comments
George Lowe at the Depot 700 supply base in Antarctica, during the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, March 1958. Lowe was the last surviving member of Sir Edmund Hillary's Everest team.

George Lowe’s Letters from Everest

9 May 2013 9:35

I was hoping this was going to be a post featuring an interview with a writer. After reading a proof copy of George Lowe’s Letters from Everest, I had the… Continue reading

2 Comments
Jared Cohen, co-author, with Eric Schmidt, of 'The New Digital Age'.

Interview: Jared Cohen and The New Digital Age

8 May 2013 11:29

Jared Cohen is Director of Google Ideas, a think tank set up by Google dedicated to understanding global challenges by applying technological solutions. Cohen is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow… Continue reading

0 Comments
Charles Moore has written the 'authorized' biography of Margaret Thatcher. Is 'authorized' correct? (PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ize Have It

25 April 2013 10:05

She divided us in life, she’s dividing us in death. Baroness Thatcher was so controversial that a single letter in a single word in the subtitle of a book that… Continue reading

3 Comments
Oscar Wilde and Carlos Blacker grace the front cover of J. Robert Maguire's 'Ceremonies of Bravery', published by the OUP.

Ceremonies of Bravery: Oscar Wilde, Carlos Blacker, and the Dreyfus Affair by J. Robert Maguire – review

24 April 2013 9:36

The life of Oscar Wilde is so wearily familiar that we assume that there is nothing new to think or say about him. This book proves us wrong. Carlos Blacker… Continue reading

3 Comments